I have been blogging since March 2017 so 6 months and over the past few months I have tried to be super organised. I am proud of what I do, I might not get paid as much as somebody who works full time in an office but nonetheless I am happy with what I do and am running what is essentially my own business at the age of 18. In just 6 months I have built up a following of 4.3k followers, I’ve had over 73,000 views on my blog and I have worked with a handful of well known brands including Fisher price, Organix, & Little dish. I definitely have a long way to go before I feel like a ‘well known blogger’ myself but I am happy with how things are going.
However, there seems to be a lot of jealousy towards bloggers and I often feel like the term ‘blogging’ is misunderstood. There is so much more to blogging than just writing a post and taking a few photo’s as some people seem to think. I have received quite a few comments from so called ‘family & friends’ about how blogging is not a job & how I am so lucky to receive ‘free stuff’. I just want to get a few things straight.
I started this as a hobby and it still is very much a loved hobby however it has now turned into a form of income for me & I have recently gone self employed. No, I don’t get paid sh#tloads. It varies & some months I might not get much work at all, but this means that I have to go out and get it. The work doesn’t always just come to me & people don’t just randomly send me free stuff. Don’t get me wrong the first time you receive an email from somebody wanting to send you an item to review, it feels great but you can’t & shouldn’t accept anything and everything. It has got to be items that are relevant to you and your blog. My first ever review was a book review called Pregnancy, The Naked Truth which you can read here. I thought I was alone with the sarcastic comments but after speaking with a group of fellow bloggers, it turns out I’m not alone & people seem to have misunderstood what blogging is about and how it all works. Some of the comments that have been said to us are as follows:
“What so you just have to write about it, that’s it?”
Haha, I wish it was as simple as it sounds but it’s really not. Firstly, it takes time, effort & lots of engagement to even get to your first paid post it doesn’t happen straight away. Planning content takes time, if you’re tired after running around after a toddler all day it can take even longer. There have been days where I can write down a whole list of ideas, and other days where I have stared at my notepad for an hour straight trying to think about what to write. Writing the content takes time, hours, sometimes days.. Photography also takes time & effort, finding the props, laying it all out, finding the right lighting (natural lighting is always better) taking a good few photos & finding the best one, editing it etc etc.. it all takes time. Scheduling posts takes time, publishing it & then sharing it on all of your social media platforms, it all takes time. Checking emails, replying to emails, pitching to brands, asking about budgets and deadlines etc, it all takes time. Not to mention engaging with your followers on facebook, twitter, instagram etc, replying to comments, commenting on other blogs. Updating your pages, finishing guest posts for other people. Do you see where I’m going with this?
“I might start a blog, I want free stuff too”
It doesn’t work like that I’m afraid, anybody that sets out to get free stuff will most probably fail. Sorry to p#ss on your parade but its true, people don’t want to read blogs that have no personality and it becomes quite obvious when you are using the #prrequest hashtag 10 times a day getting your hands on absolutely anything & everything that you see. You need to write about things that are relevant to you, if you are a parenting blog you don’t want to be writing about dogs if you don’t know anything about them & don’t even own one, lets be real.
“You’re so lucky to get free stuff”
Its not lucky, I work for it. People seem to have no idea what goes into blogging which is a shame really as we work just as hard as the rest of you. Blogging is not easy, but it is a job that I love doing and it is definitely not something that you can do if you can’t be bothered to engage with your followers and make an effort with your blog.
“So, you don’t have a proper job then?”
Actually yes I do, I work from home which in a way is a lot harder than going out to work, especially when you have a toddler to run around after and a household to run. But of course, I just sit on my arse all day, right?? Wrong.
“Sitting on your laptop all day, isn’t a job”
Let’s just start by saying, this is not what happens. I work on the blog when Alyssia naps & again in the evenings when she is asleep. As well as running around after a toddler all day, doing general housework and making sure everything is up to scratch – I run my own business and yes this is my blog so to speak. I try my best to promote on social media via my phone when I get the chance, this is usually when we are sat watching Cbeebies or if I get a very rare 5 minutes peace. However there are times where I am behind schedule & have deadlines to meet. As I said before, with blogging your work varies and there are times where you will have a pile of items to review and posts that you need to prioritise over your personal posts and there will also be times where you need to go out and look for work yourself.
I hate that bloggers seem to be misunderstood for what they do, at times I feel so down about the fact that people say such nasty things when really we’re probably working harder & putting more hours in than a lot of people that go out to work. I have been dedicated from the start, I used to (and still do at times) sit up until past midnight working on the blog getting posts drafted ready to send out. I blog 3 times a week on a Monday, Wednesday & Friday. I also run the #YoungMumsProject on a Friday as well as trying to juggle my life as a mama & homemaker.
Thank you to my fellow blogger friends for discussing this subject with me before writing this post: JackiJellz, Dear Mummy Bear, Soph Obsessed, Mumconventional, A Slice of my life, North East Family Fun, From Rachael Claire, The Breastest News, & Emma Reed.